Nearly nine months after her mother walked up to Fire Station 75 in Santa Ana and rang the doorbell, baby Naomi and her adoptive family revisited the site of her safe surrender and were greeted with smiles and hugs by the firefighters who accepted the newborn.
The little girl, who has been adopted by a Lake Forest couple, was the fourth newborn this year to be turned over in Orange County under the state safe surrender law.
She was dropped off at the station on March 20, and fire Capt. Daryll Milliot was there to take Naomi in.
“When I came around the corner, I could see a young woman with a baby in a blanket. She had a look on her face that kind of let me know that this may be a safe surrender,” Milliot said Wednesday, when he was reunited with Naomi at the Orange County Fire Authority station.
“She looked like it was serious. It was a heavy moment for her.”
Though the program has been around for years, that marked the first time a baby had been surrendered at a fire station in Orange County, Milliot said.
Now, Naomi’s parents, Krysten and Kurt Snyder, have decided to treat the firefighters who were at the station that day as Naomi’s “uncles.”
Fire Engineer Michael De Leon said he’s grateful to be able to remain in touch with Naomi’s family, since it wasn’t clear the station crew would know her fate.
“It’s one of the highlights of my career, by far,” De Leon said.
Naomi was officially adopted on Nov. 3, according to the Orange County Register, which first reported her family’s story.
Naomi’s adoptive mother said she was flooded with love when she saw the little girl in the hospital for the first time several days later.
“Little 6-pound baby — so sweet, so precious,” Krysten Snyder said. “There’s really nothing I can even say to describe that moment.”
The Snyders, who attend Compass Bible Church in Aliso Viejo, where Krysten works at the children’s ministry music leader, have also recently adopted another baby. That child is a boy who is about 1. Most people think he and Naomi are twins, despite the fact that one is Asian and the other is Hispanic, Snyder said.
The couple pray with Naomi every night for her birth mother, her adoptive mother said.
“It really is a great opportunity for us to tell her about her mom, and what a courageous thing she did,” Snyder said. “It’s going to be a really beautiful story to show her and to tell her.”